As the rebound in Hawaii's tourism continues, one question that comes to mind is:
Why hasn't Norwegian Cruise Lines taken advantage of the boom and sent a couple of more ships back here?
Maui County's visitor growth surged in 2011 and that trend has continued during the first six months of this year. So why hasn't NCL bought into the idea that more visitors would like to cruise around the Hawaiian Islands?
To be honest, we miss seeing NCL's beautiful ships in Kahului Harbor six days a week. Until pulling two of its three ships out of Hawaii's waters, NCL's logo atop its smokestacks served as a guidepost for visiting friends and family finding their way back to Central Maui (and our house) after daily excursions.
The ships were part of the Maui skyline.
Certainly, there has been an economic impact on Maui by the pullout of two ships. Teems of visitors from the ships frequented both Maui Mall and Queen Ka'ahumanu Center. The loss of those dollars must be significant.
Now the Pride of America is the only NCL ship plying Hawaii's waters, visiting four islands on a seven-day cruise. Two of those days are spent here on Maui.
And, while we long to see the return of those ships, we can't help think we're not the only ones missing the boat. It sure appears that NCL is missing an opportunity.
(A version of this editorial has appeared previously in The Maui News)
* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.